Innovation can ‘unscarce’ what is scarce, says Arghyam’s Mala Subramaniam
In India, 4% of the world’s water resources are shared by 1.38 billion people. Rain received in the span of a hundred days every year is the country’s only renewable source of water and carries challenges of uneven geographical distribution and storage. It is no wonder that India’s water crisis is complex and diverse, encompassing issues of quantity, quality and access. Water security – safe and accessible water for all – is central to securing the future of India’s citizens. This is the driving force behind Arghyam’s vision of enabling water security for 100 million people by 2023.
In an insightful conversation with Ashutosh Garg from The Brand Called You, Arghyam’s CEO Mala Subramaniam highlights the importance of marrying traditional wisdom with technology to distribute the ability to solve faster, efficiently and at scale. Arghyam does so by keeping communities at the centre and restoring their agency to engage with local resources and come up with solutions that serve them best. As India stands at the cusp of a digital revolution, Mala delves into Arghyam’s journey of leveraging technology to bring together actors across civil society organisations, governments and markets in a Societal Platform, ForWater.
At Arghyam, water security goes beyond being a service to be delivered and is, instead, a matter of equity and democratic access. Innovation can help us ‘unscarce’ what is scarce, such as knowledge, funds and data, Mala believes, and empower many to solve large and diverse problems. “Just because the answers may be difficult, we can’t change the question paper,” and for Arghyam, the answer is distributing the ability to solve.
Watch the full conversation here: